Hot on the Highstreet Week 248 – Shopping in Antwerp

Antwerp is the fashion capital of Belgium and I found many blog worthy design shops while I was visiting. The city is compact and so it is easy to walk around and see most things in a day. We particularly enjoyed the antiques ridden street Kloosterstraat, head here for a endless array of rare vintage finds. Those who prefer something new and shiny will be satisfied with the glamorous jewellery and designer clothes shops. Here are my top boutiques in the city worth heading to first.

The Recollection – a beautifully curated lifestyle concept store stocking Aesop toiletries, Kaweco stationery, Piet van Eek furniture and other stylish objects of desire.

Huis Boon – Established in 1884 this gorgeous little glove shop has been an institution since opening. Boxes line the walls, filled with every colour of glove you could every wish for. I fell in love with a pair of cashmere lined emerald gloves. For something more delicate Huis Boon also make gloves in other finer materials, like lace.

Domestic – this minimalist bakery creates the most delicious croissants I have ever tasted. This boulangerie was opened by Julien Burlat and Sophie Verbeke, who also own two of the city’s most prestigious restaurants, Dôme and Dôme Sur Mer. Hotel Julien serve Domestic pastries at breakfast, and it is reason alone to stay!

Hay – this is one of the flagship stores of the successful Danish design brand. The colourful products for desk and home are irresistibly chic, especially when displayed all together.

Goossens Chocolatier – this unassuming chocolate shop is not found in the centre of town but it is worth visiting for their renowned, top-quality chocolates. They are a favourite with royals and presidents around the world, and most excitingly supply the chocolate for the White House.

Loft Styles – we found this shop amongst the antique outlets on Kloosterstraat, though Loft Styles felt special. The retro furniture and ornaments are mostly industrial in style, exhibited in an effective way and priced reasonably. If only I lived closer I would have bought something from the unique collection.

Woontheater – everyone I spoke to recommended this shop, and I can reiterate… it is serious vintage furniture heaven. What amazed me most was the way this shop makes old vintage furniture look contemporary and cool.

Wunderkammer – a shop of beautiful curiosities to decorate your home with. A lot of things you don’t need, but really, really want.

Hot on the Highstreet Week 239

I have been a West London girl for my entire life, but next week I move down South to Peckham. So to celebrate the highstreets of West London I thought I would post about a few of my favourite shops in this homely neighbourhood. I have focused on the Golborne Road and Portobello area, which has a host of hidden gems that will keep you occupied all day.

Erno Deco – This lovely shop specialises in affordable vintage design furniture and decorative collectable objects. We admired all the furniture in here, imagining it in our new home.

Ally Capellino – British designer of classic mens and womens bags and accessories. I loved the design pieces and timeless leather handbags.

Pedlars – Selling wonderful stuff for the home and the great outdoors, Pedlars’ varied stock ranges from pieces produced here in Britain to vintage items from across the globe.

Ollie & Bow – A dusty den of antiques where you can pick up bizaare and whimsical retro pieces for your home. You will get lost in the beautiful chaos.

Les Couilles Du Chien – Suppliers of unusual antiques and decorative items, I particularly liked the brightly coloured butterflies which would look radiant on the wall.

Look out for my South London shopping suggestions soon!

IKEA PS Collection

IKEA has launched its 7th IKEA PS Collection, which consists of 46 new products that offer cutting edge Scandinavian design, all created by just 19 designers. IKEA strongly believe quality design should be affordable for everybody and this is what IKEA PS stands for.

The theme of this year’s collection surrounds revisiting the past to revive products for the future. Each item has been carefully crafted using inspiration from the past 60 years of IKEA design. The designers were tasked with drawing inspiration from past collections and challenged to modernise products by updating their form and function.

The IKEA PS side table (above) is inspired by flower stands that were popular years ago, but are designed for all of us who can’t make up our minds. That’s why the side tables come in three different versions, with three different table tops – all with a bamboo frame. You can choose whether you want a table with a flat surface, with a big fruit bowl or with a bamboo frame.

The IKEA PS 2012 Easy Chair (also above)  is inspired by the IKEA classic from the 50s that designer Wiebke Braasch has updated. The design has been refined to a modern, scaled down version – the old upholstery and other material has disappeared, with the original metal frame remaining. Now the easy chair can be used both inside and out and is much easier to recycle.

If only this range had been around while I was at University, I would have been a much more stylish student house!

See the range online here.